Appropriate Roles of Ex-husband's Girlfriend

My ex-husband “informed” me a couple of weeks ago that his girlfriend [whom I’ve never met] will be picking up our son from school on his days this year. We have a ‘right to first refusal’ clause built into our consent judgement that requires him to call me or one of his other family members if he cannot provide care.

He called me on a regular basis last year to do this, and I always accommodated him. I reminded him of that, and he balked – as I suspected he would. I told him that I really wanted to become acquainted with his girlfriend, and requested that he set up a meeting for the two of us so that we could get to know one another. He brought her to a camp picnic last week, but I got to the picnic RIGHT after they both left - there was really no set time for me to be there. It started at 10:00 am, and I got there at 10:30 am.

By that time they were gone. […and a “hello” is really not what I’m looking for… I just want to have a conversation with her – from what I understand, she is a good girl from a nice family…] Well, this meeting has not yet happened, and before I knew it another issue cropped up. I am a teacher, and my start date is approximately 3 weeks before my son’s official first day of kindergarten.

Randy and I talked about it, and we said ‘we’d see what we could do.’ Well, I found someone in the neighborhood who has excellent references that can keep him for the entire three weeks. [She typically babysits only teachers’ children.] When I called my ex with the great news, he said we’d have to talk about it when he got home from out-of-town. I asked him why, and he just repeated himself. I then asked him if he had someone else in mind, and he told me that his girlfriend would be able to keep our son. I said that I didn’t agree with that.

It is my belief that girlfriends shouldn’t play the role of ‘parent’ and the lady that I want to send him to would be able to provide stability and continuity for our son during those three weeks. I understood in a previous conversation that his girlfriend works [… I don’t know where…]. So, I asked him how many days she could take off work, and he said that it was none of my business. I feel like his response was inappropriate.

Anything that has to do with my son and his care is and always will be my business. I’m disappointed because we co-parent, and in order to effectively co-parent we have to maintain an amicable relationship. I am more than willing to include his girlfriend-if this is to be a long term relationship- with our discussions about decisions regarding our son, but I think it is not at all the right thing for him to have handled this issue in the manner that he did.

Anyway, I have an idea of what I’m going to do and say, but I’d like to hear what some of you think about this one.

you sound very accomodating to your ex. you have primary physical custody right? well, it’s your choice what should happen with day to day care. he has shared custody and while it’s great to aim for a fabulous coparenting relationship, it’s hard to make a reality. your post has a few examples of him being tricky or not working with you. i think you need to stand up for what you believe and what you want. don’t let him take all the controls here.

I would be concerned anytime your ex is telling you that it’s none of your business when it is about a person who may be taking care of your son. This is the type of thing my ex did. There are just too many red flags in your post that point to your ex trying to control the situation, rather than do what’s best for your son. You are trying to be civil to the girlfriend, he, for whatever reason, seems bound and determined to interfere with your contact - even though it’s about your son. Sorry, but I wouldn’t trust him.I have the right-of-first-refusal clause in my shared parenting agreement, too. We have four children, and it’s a VERY detailed document. Do not hesitate to hold him to this. Just remember - you are abiding by it. He can too.

Hi, How did this end up? I have a similar situation, but my Ex-moved in with his g/f and he is now supposed to have them for Spring Break. He did not take off anytime and he wants them to stay with his G/F while he works (12pm - 11pm).

In our agreement we are not allowed to have the kids do overnights with paramours unless its an exclusive relationship for a year or more.

Our divorce was final in August, he moved into the G/F house in January.

I have primary custody, he has them a total of 15 hours per week. No overnights.

I have a Nanny I use several days a week on a regular basis and he uses her too when he is working and his G/F is not available.

I do not feel the kids should be staying with ex while he is away at work all day. The Nanny can care for them while he is at work, I just dont think he wants to pay for it.

Any advice, thoughts?

I would not allow his GF to be a part of it. You want to avoid all triangularization because they will gang up on you. My Ex did this exact thing when our oldest was 12. It can get worse, only accommodate your child. He gave up 50/50 custody to move out of county to his GF house not before tried to take custody from me. Then when he moved in with her and or married her…he sued to get custody back to lower CS because he thinks she can watch them while he’s gone. When they can stay with me cause I work from home. After going to a custody mediator and realize that at anytime they are not with their Dad they will be with me and he has to take leave when they are their he gave up (legally) but tried to pressure me to get their way by badgering me and telling me how awful I am as a parent (for setting boundaries). You are not required to share custody with her (wife/gf). So if he can’t actually exercise custody unless kids are held in care of someone besides him, they should be with you. My kids use to go to professional care if both parents are working. Fast-forward 5 years it is still my fault according to her. She actually had the audacity to contact me when Dad and I disagreed about a parenting issue and defend him and tell me what “we will and will not do”. It’s still not her place. I don’t co-parent with her.